Car Talk with Buck: How to jump-start your battery


      Have you ever been left stranded in a parking lot because your car died? Maybe you left your lights or radio on and it killed your battery. Don’t worry. If you read this you will know how to jump-start your car. To jump-start your car you will need 3 things:

     Jumper cables are a necessity for anyone driving a car. You never know when you may be in this situation. A good pair of jumper cables can be bought for around, 20 to 30 dollars.

     If you think that’s expensive, try calling a wrecker service. It could cost you upwards of 50 dollars for them to jump you off. Because my truck’s battery fails me, I always keep a pair in my truck to get my truck started or to help those in need.

     The first thing you must do is pop both vehicles’ hoods. Find the battery in both vehicles and position the cars where the batteries will be the closest to one another as possible. Some car manufacturers like Lincoln or Dodge place batteries in the trunk. If this is the case for your vehicle, there should be a jump point located under the hood.

     Before hooking up the jumper cables, locate the positive and negative terminals for each battery. The positive terminal will have a + sign to one side of the battery post. The negative terminal will have a – sign to one side of its post.

     Once both cars’ battery terminals are identified, start the friend’s car. Take the black jumper cable clamp and clamp it onto your battery’s negative terminal. Then place the second black clamp and clamp it onto your friend’s negative battery terminal.

     Next, clamp one red clamp onto your vehicle’s positive battery terminal. Then clamp the other red clamp onto your friend’s positive battery terminal.

     Wait about 5 minutes or so and try to start your vehicle. If it doesn’t turn over, wait about 10 or 15 minutes and try again. Once your car cranks, remove jumper cables in the opposite order from the way you put them on.

     Remove the red clamp on your friend’s battery followed by the red clamp on your car. Then undo the black clamp from your friend’s car and remove the clamp on your vehicle’s negative battery terminal.

     If your vehicle does not start, make sure each clamp is securely placed onto each post. Sometimes it helps to clamp the terminal and wiggle the clamp to ensure it has a good contact surface between the clamp and the terminal.

     Make sure when jump-starting your vehicle that you do not place one red clamp onto a positive terminal and the other on a negative terminal. The same goes for hooking a negative terminal to a positive one. This will result in damage to both the vehicle’s electrical systems. The best way to ensure this does not happen is take your time and always look at the terminal’s identification marks each time you hook up a clamp.

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